At the end of January employers start to send out your tax forms. Now you have to start (if you haven't already) putting together all the receipts and tallies for your deductions. Here's some tips to simplify it now and if you continue with the practices will make the tax season next year even less stressful.

1. Turn your receipts into electronic data - Little slips of paper can slip through your fingers into the trash too easily. Even though you might be tempted to throw all your receipts into a paper bag and hope for the best; you really should itemize as you get them. They can be sorted and scanned with a personal scanner or by  online services that will take your paper copies and do the scanning for you. By having this info in your computer if any receipts get lost in your home or with your accountant, you still have your digital copies. Plus they don't fade or get wet making them impossible to read.

2. Start tracking your mileage now - If you are in sales or have a job that requires you do some extra driving between business locations or to meet clients, you make be eligible for tax on your vehicle mileage. Check with your accountant to see if this deduction is allowed. You can do this with an app like Milebug or TripLog to track your mileage all year long. Both generate easy-to-use reports that are compliant with IRS guidelines and easy for your accountant to use to make sure you get every dollar possible in tax deductions.

3. Get your extension early if needed - If you don’t have a plan to tackle your taxes already, chances are you may need an extension to get everything done on time.If so, don’t wait until the last minute to get in your paperwork. Visit the IRS’s website to download and complete the necessary documents to apply for your tax extension now.
4. Don’t neglect your education - If you need to take continuing education courses for your work, the cost for those classes could be tax deductible. Check with your accountant or IRS guidelines to verify.

5. Plan ahead for next year -Develop a plan for the year ahead. Tax laws have changed in a number of ways for 2013 that could increase your tax liability. Talk to your accountant or certified tax professional about money management tips and tools to help make sure you’re ahead of the game and ready to maximize your deductions in the year to come.